Hydra, Spetses, Poros, Aegina, Tzia/Kea: Welcome to the charming little islands near Athens, which offer history and style in abundance and are ideal for a quick getaway all year round. Just a short ferry or hydrofoil trip from the port of Piraeus, you’ll find beautiful beaches, historic monuments, stately buildings and one-of-a-kind hospitality.
Τhe sea captains’ island, Spetses promises la 'dolce vita', whether for a quick weekend getaway or a long holiday. Have a leisurely coffee in Dapia, as you look across the sea towards Kosta and Porto Heli on the Peloponnese. Walk along the waterfront, past the handsome mansions below St Nicholas’ Church, to the Old Harbour with its traditional boatyards. Then visit the Bouboulina and Hatzigiannis-Mexis museums.
The aristocratic island of Hydra invites you to experience the beauty that has enchanted international jet setters, artists like Chagall and Picasso and musicians like the late great Leonard Cohen. The port town is cosmopolitan and elegant, with its 18th-century mansions, old churches and marble-flagged steps that serve as streets on this steep island. A trip to take you back in time.
A place beloved by Giorgos Seferis, the Greek Nobel laureate, and groundbreaking writer Henry Miller, with its beautiful nature, vintage charm and peaceful ambience. Just a stone’s throw from Galata on the mainland, in Poros you’ll find small tavernas, yacht marinas, neoclassical buildings, a clock tower, pine forests reaching the sea, serenity and relaxation.
Just an hour from the port of Piraeus, Aegina is the island closest to Athens. Here you’ll enjoy ancient temples, stone-built Byzantine churches, a delightful old-fashioned port town, delicious local pistachio nuts and a swimming season that lasts until late autumn. This charming, welcoming island will entice you as it has the many from around the world who have chosen to make it their second home.
This tiny island, just five minutes from Aegina and about an hour from Piraeus by boat, offers pine-studded landscapes, beautiful bays and hidden coves, pure nature for trekking and biking and picturesque seaside tavernas – perfect for an alternative holiday.
Close to Athens (just one hour from the port of Lavrio, east of Athens) is Tzia (also known as Kea), which will charm you with its cosmopolitan ambience, unique beaches and the mysteries hiding on its seabed.
Picturesque villages boast narrow streets of cobbled stone and gardens full of flowers, next to tiny chapels that pop up on rocky headlands and within forest glades. So much hidden beauty exists on Kythnos, and just a short hop by ferry from Athens. With a history starting in the mists of the Mesolithic period, Kythnos, modest and hospitable, unexpectedly beautiful and serene.
A day cruise to the islands close to Athens
So close that you feel you could almost touch them, the islands of the Saronic Gulf offer a generous taste of Greek summer to anyone visiting Athens.